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Germany Begins Trial against Syrian Officer Accused of Crimes against Humanity

Germany Begins Trial against Syrian Officer Accused of Crimes against Humanity

Friday, 3 December, 2021 - 11:30
Former Syrian intelligence officer Anwar Raslan (AFP)

The first trial worldwide on state torture in Syria started in Germany. On Thursday morning, the Federal Public Prosecutor began the prosecution before the Higher Regional Court in the German city of Koblenz.

Senior public prosecutor Jasper Klinge said it was imperative in Germany because of historical responsibility that no crimes against humanity should be accepted.

The principle of universal law in international criminal law allows prosecution against any suspected war crimes committed by foreigners in other countries, added Klinge.

Anwar R. is charged with being complicit in the torture of at least 4000 people between 2011 and 2012 when he worked as the lead interrogator at a detention center in Damascus. This torture resulted in the death of 58 people.

It is noteworthy that Anwar R.’s trial had started in Germany in April 2020.

In February 2020, the Koblenz Higher Regional Court sentenced Eyad A. to four and half years in prison, while Anwar R.’s trial continues.

The Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office charged Anwar R. and Eyad A. with crimes against humanity in October 2019.

According to the judge, Eyad A., during his presence in Syria in 2011, contributed to bringing 30 Arab Spring demonstrators for torture at a facility run by Anwar R.

It is expected that the verdict in this historic case, which is being pursued by many Syrians, will be issued on January 13th.

German federal prosecutors have demanded a life sentence for the former Syrian intelligence officer accused of “crimes against humanity.”

Anwar R. has sought refuge in Germany after fleeing his country in 2012, and he has been on trial since April 23, 2020 before the Koblenz Court on charges of torturing detainees in a secret detention center in Damascus.

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